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date: 16 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapterexamines appeal and cassation as procedural vehicles for challenging criminal judgments rendered by trial courts in five European countries: France, Germany, Italy, Russia and Spain. More specifically, it considers whether appeal and cassation serve as guarantees of factual accuracy in criminal judgments or as vehicles by which the high courts exercise administrative control over the work of lower courts. The chapter first provides an overview of the hierarchical model of criminal procedure in the civil law system before discussing the structural and philosophical differences between Continental European (civil law) and common law systems. It also describes how appeal and cassation have developed from their classical forms and concludes with an analysis of how they function today, noting that acquittals seem to receive enhanced scrutiny on appeal and cassation in European jurisdictions.

Keywords: appeal, cassation, criminal judgments, trial courts, Europe, high courts, lower courts, criminal procedure, civil law, acquittals

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